Date of this Version
Tourism Management 70 (2019) 49–55
Wildlife sightings are not always guaranteed. To address this risk, tour operators often offer a money-back guarantee as a refund mechanism. However, studies have overlooked the influences of such refund mechanisms on tourists' tour participation decisions and tourism revenue. We conducted choice experiments to examine the impact of such mechanisms using a case of Amami rabbit tourism in Japan. We found that the guarantee significantly influences the tourists’ decision-making and tour revenue. In particular, we found that the expected tourist participation rate and tour guide revenue vary drastically depending on the probability of the rabbit encounter. The maximum expected revenue from the tour with a 90% chance was about 20 times larger than that with a 10% chance. This indicates that conserving wildlife to maintain the sighting probability raises tour benefits, creating a win-win situation by balancing conservation and tourism development.